Experience Just How Huge the Solar System Is in One Brilliant Interactive
The universe is pretty freaking huge.
While this concept isn't foreign to us, it can be difficult for our puny human brains to grasp. But in just a few minutes, you can get a crash course on how big our solar system is, thanks to this awesome, mind-blowing interactive graphic by designer Josh Worth. The feature is a scaled representation of the solar system that allows you to scroll through outer space as though you are a spaceship traveling to its limits.
Spoiler alert: "Most of space is just space."
The graphic is filled with facts to keep things in perspective. For instance, "If you were on a road trip, driving at 75 mph, it would have taken you over 500 years to get [to Jupiter] from Earth." It also reminds us that all the distances are averages, since the distance between planets depends on where they are in relation to each other in their orbits around the sun.
Other facts keep the sheer scale of this graphic in perspective: "You would need 1182 of these screens lined up side-by-side to show this whole map at once," it reads. "If this map was printed from a quality printer (300 pixels per inch) the earth would be invisible, and the width of the paper would need to be 475 feet."
But perhaps most striking is Worth's metaphysical musings about our place in the universe. In between the vast nothingness between planets, he writes about how tiny our existence is — and how special that makes us. "With so much emptiness, aren't stars, planets, and people just glitches in an otherwise elegant and uniform nothingness, like pieces of lint on a black sweater?" he asks.
"But without the tiny dots for it to stretch between, there would be no emptiness to measure, and for that matter, no one around to measure it," he continues. "You might say that so much emptiness makes the tiny bits of matter that much more meaningful — simply by the fact that, against all odds, they aren't empty."
We might be small, insignificant specks of dust in this universe, but we are here and alive, with the ability to recognize this truth. And that's a beautiful affirmation of our lives.
Check out the graphic here.